Welcome to the first post of my travel-blog! Although I haven’t yet left the country, I feel as though I have been sufficiently displaced in the last week or so to consider myself on my way…
This summer was rather busy—I did an intensive physics course for 3 weeks and then started studying for the MCAT, which I took September 6th. September 7th I started really organizing a portion of my trip involving an Indian NGO called BIRDS. I met with a pediatrician from Portland, OR who has done a variety of projects with BIRDS, including a fascinating study of sex-workers in rural Andhra Pradesh, India. We (the doctor and I) talked about BIRDS and India and started to devise a project for me involving interviewing dalit widows in rural India. We met twice for several hours each and, while the project is still in the planning process, I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to delve into the lives of women vastly different from myself. I am sure that I will write more about the process and experience as it occurs, but back to preparations…
A short week after my MCAT, I had to move out of my beloved little eco-cottage in Portland, OR. This took longer than expected and, as always, with each move I realize that I have about 5 times more things than I want or need. I have to say I am already looking forward to my post-travel purge. Those of you who know me know that I am quite territorial and leaving my home to a subletter left me feeling quite displaced. Then came the goodbyes and the 1,200-mile drive to Reno, NV and then on to Sedona, AZ, where I sit typing this post in my parent’s kitchen. Upon arriving in Sedona, my body decided that it was finally time to rest and I was struck with a terrible cold (from which I am still recovering).
Due to my busy summer (filled with various health-issues), I didn’t have the chance to exercise or train for my trip to the Himalayas (I will venture above 18,000 ft in about 2 weeks). Now, I have exactly a week to do so and am hoping that my cold will clear enough to allow me wander the red rocks (and hopefully increase my lung-capacity).
Speaking of the Himalayas, I am in the process of booking a sixteen-day trek to Everest base camp via Goyko Lakes (a modified version of this trip). I adore alpine lakes and cannot wait to spend time around some of the world’s highest elevation lakes. The trek will hopefully depart October 6th. I am planning to do this portion of my journey with two American girls who I have not formally met. One of the girls is the daughter of my father’s college friend who just happens to also want to be a doctor and plans to be in Nepal for October—it is a small world! I am happy to have the company in my transition to the solitude of language barriers and solo traveling.
Given that it has been a few years since my last trip (Cuba, Summer 2009), I am surprisingly not anxious about my trip to Asia. This lack of anxiety is perhaps due to the fact that I haven’t had time to think too much about my trip and the coming solitude. It should be a fabulous trip.
Disclosure: I have decided to use hannablaney.org rather than hannablaney.com considering that I am not a commercial entity (although I now realize it is customary to use .com for personal blogs). Also, I realize that I am not an organization although I do work with and donate to many.